Paris Photo Rejects :
Laetitia Casta dans Nés en 1968, série Silenzio © François Fontaine / Agence Vu, courtesy A. Galerie
Several galleries were not selected to exhibit at this year’s Paris Photo. We spoke with the owners to get their reactions.
I am very sad not to be at Paris Photo this year, for several reasons.
I submitted a beautiful portfolio to the festival: Silenzio !, by the French photographer François Fontaine. The exhibition was selected for the Mois de la Photo but refused by Paris Photo.
I have been producing photography exhibitions at my Paris gallery for twelve years, and not once have we been selected for Paris Photo.
Not everything I produced might have been to their taste, but the quality of some of the artists is hard to dispute: Peter Lindbergh, Martin Schoeller, Albert Watson, Nick Brandt, Rankin & Damien Hirst. These are some of the biggest names of international art fairs and auction houses. And then there are all the talented young artists whose work has appeared at the A. Galerie.
What I find the most shocking is that because I’m a “little gallery,” I’m not allowed to defend my artists.
Take for example Paris Photo 2011. Five of my photographers were offered to “my Parisian clientele” by foreign galleries.
I saw dozens of little red dots beaming on their works but, without a stand, I was helpless to defend them.
I invest a lot of money in France to promote the work of these artists to French collectors, and then these artists end up being sold at Paris Photo by foreign galleries. It’s a little hard to swallow.
Given sixty-something exhibitions I’ve organized over the past twelve years, my clients cannot understand why I am never at Paris Photo.
For them, Paris Photo is a benchmark, a guarantee of quality.
But I do put on high-quality exhibitions, just not at Paris Photo. They have trouble understanding that.
I didn’t like Paris Photo when it was at the Carrousel du Louvre. You had to spend long days underground without any sunlight.
But it’s wonderful working at the Grand Palais, as I have for the past seven years with Art Paris, under that breathtaking canopy of glass.
Silenzio ! - François Fontaine
From November 8 to December 22, 2012
12, rue Léonce Reynaud